Israel has proposed paying compensation to relatives of Turks it killed during a raid on a Gaza-bound ship, in exchange for Ankara’s help in indemnifying the Israeli navy against lawsuits, officials in Jerusalem said on Thursday.
The offer, broached by envoys in Geneva over the weekend, included measures for patching up ties but appeared to have fallen short of Turkey’s demand that Israel formally apologize for the deaths of the nine pro-Palestinian activists in May.
In Ankara, however, Turkish officials didn’t confirm any report regarding the content of the talks held between top Israeli and Turkish diplomats, with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu calling the reports “speculative.”
“The reports are speculative. Meetings [between Turkish and Israeli officials] are going on,” Davutoğlu briefly said in response to questions at a joint press conference following his talks with visiting Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem.
Nonetheless, Israeli officials in Jerusalem elaborated on the content of the ongoing talks, while speaking with the Reuters news agency.
“We made a compensation offer, and asked the Turks to do what needs to be done to address our legal concerns. We also want to see them return their ambassador and allow us to appoint a new ambassador in Ankara,” an Israeli official was quoted as saying by Reuters. “For now, however, there are still big obstacles,” the official added.
The draft offers Turkey some $100,000 to the families of each of the men shot dead by Israeli marines during brawls aboard the converted cruise ship, Mavi Marmara, and an Israeli expression of “regret” over the incident, Israeli diplomatic sources said.
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